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About Me

My name is Tamara Tsurkan, I was born in Ukraine, but now live in Madison, Wisconsin.

I started painting when I was a child, and attended an Art School in my home town in Ukraine.

However, after finishing school I didn't pursue a career of an artist, instead opting for a college degree in math and computer science, and a teaching career after that.

I returned to acrylic painting in 2005 after a long break. Soon I realized that I really enjoyed it, and in a few months I found myself devoting most of my free time to art - reading about art, learning as much as I could, taking art class (painting, metalsmithing, pottery) and trying different styles and techniques as well as some less traditional media.

Over the last ten years I have worked in several different media, and now mainly work with fiber (/www.feltedanimals.com). I use needle felting technique to create paintings and sculptures from wool, then combine them with recycled objects so the finished work is essentially a mini-story. I enjoy using wool for my paintings because it allows me to create three dimensional characters in paintings that (literally) pop out of the frame.

The choice of the subject of my works was very easy for me, since I have always loved animals and have had pets all my life. In my works I tell light-hearted fairytale-like stories that depict animals in unique and non-standard way. The characters of my folk art are animals (dogs, cats, cows, sheep and others) involved in various unusual activities (climbing to the moon, flying, scuba-diving, dancing, playing musical instruments, etc).

My other passion is jewelry. Around seven years ago I created my first leather jewelry collection and later coral collection (www.jewelry-by-tamara.com). I enjoy working across different (and sometimes non-standard) media.

Over the last 10 years I have been actively participating in art shows and fairs throughout Wisconsin and the Midwest, including Spring Green Art Fair, East Side Millenium Park and Gold Coast Art Fairs in Chicago, Stone Arch Art Festival and Powderhorn Art Fair in Minneapolis, Ann Arbor Art Fair, etc.

I am currently a member of Wisconsin Regional Arts Association (WRAA), Madison Art Guild (MAG) and Wisconsin Visual Artists (WVA, Wisconsin Painters and Sculptors). Several of my works have received State Exhibit Awards and Honorable Mention through the Wisconsin Regional Art Program.

I do commissioned abstract and fun folk art felted paintings – see the commissions page for more information. I also do art lessons for kids and adults. If you would like to commission a painting, or require additional information about art lessons, you can contact me any time.